As the NFL offseason marches on so do the daily activities of general managers across the league. While they’re planning their action for the NFL Draft in April, general managers are also looking at the free-agency market. Whether it it’s looking to bring in outside options to improve the football team or bringing certain players back, everyone is doing their homework. This week on the AFC East Roundup, we look at each of the four teams’ free agents—players each franchise must make decisions about re-signing or letting walk.
The Bills have 17 free agents and a couple of them have made huge contributions for the team. Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips is coming off a career year with near double-digit sacks and considers himself one of the best in the league. Buffalo is going to let him test the open market but it will be interesting to see if they make an offer to bring him back. Also on the defensive line is Shaq Lawson whose rookie contract just ended. Lawson is actually one of the few remaining players from the Doug Whaley era as a former first-round pick. Other notable free agents include, Quinton Spain and Frank Gore who both contributed a lot to the offense.
For the Patriots only one name matters; Tom Brady. Everybody is wondering what the future has in store for the certain first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback. The problem is that it seems contract talks have stalled partially because of the uncertainty regarding the new CBA. One name that may be forgotten is that belonging to free-agent wide receiver Matthew Slater. Slater is arguably the best player on special teams in the league, so it would be a much greater loss than people think if he left New England. Devin McCourty and Kyle Van Noy are also set to hit the market, which would be a huge blow to the defense.
The Jets have a giant list of 30 pending free agents, with over half of them being unrestricted free agents. Some names that stand out are Robby Anderson who has become the go-to receiver for Sam Darnold, and Ryan Kalil who came out of retirement last year to join the football team. Another question mark for the football team is who will be the backup guy behind Darnold as Trevor Siemian and David Fales are free agents. It’s yet to be seen what kind of direction the Jets will take after the disappointing results from 2019.
Lastly, we have Miami with only 15 players set to hit the market. No one noticeable stands out such that losing them would affect the Dolphins. Head coach Brian Flores is heading into his second year of the rebuild process and undoubtedly looks to bring in some fresh faces to the team. Aquib Talib is set to become a free agent after Miami acquired him in a trade last year, and it would be surprising if he returned to the football team. Look for the Dolphins to focus their attention on the draft instead.